Promoters of horse slaughter labeled greedy profiteers


“Greedy profiteers” and their allies have been singled out by the acting head of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for their continued promotion of horse slaughter as an option in the US.

“Proponents of horse slaughter like to characterize slaughter as a ‘necessary evil,’ as if horse owners have no other options when they are no longer able or willing to care for their horses,” the organization’s acting president and chief executive, Kitty Block, says.

“Yet research released last year found that 2.3 million Americans are both willing and currently have the resources to rescue a horse.

“Responsible horse owners humanely euthanize their animals when the horse becomes old, sick or lame. If a person can no longer care for a horse, he or she has a responsibility to rehome the horse or, as a last resort, opt for humane euthanasia.”

Americans, she said, do not see equines as food.

“Yet, unfortunately, a small but vocal group of greedy profiteers and their allies continue to try and sell the idea that slaughter is somehow a proper way to end a horse’s life,” she said in her blog, A Humane Nation.

“They want us to allow American horses, trained to trust and depend on people, to be subjected to the chaos and confusion of kill pens and auction yards, and the terror and panic of being forced into a kill box in a slaughter plant.”

Block said Congress had maintained a de facto ban on the slaughter of horses and burros in the US, which ensured no taxpayer money was spent to fund the inspectors necessary to allow the trade to find any footing in the country.

She urged Congress to maintain this ban for the 2019 fiscal year through the Agriculture Appropriations bill, which the HSUS expects lawmakers will take up in coming weeks, until a permanent solution – the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act – was made law.

Kitty Block
Kitty Block

Block noted that a 2012 poll by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) found that 80 percent of Americans were opposed to the slaughter of American horses for human consumption.

“This popular sentiment is reflected in the laws of a number of states, including Texas, New Jersey, Illinois and California, all of which have passed laws to protect equines from the cruelty of slaughter.”

She said the horse slaughter trade that operated in the US before 2007 had a poor record, with repeated incidents documented of horses suffering from rampant cruelty, severe injuries, broken bones and eye injuries.

“Furthermore, the existence of horse slaughter plants in the country did not stop horses from being sent to Mexico and Canada for slaughter — thousands of horses were still transported across the border each year, and were forced to endure long journeys to domestic plants without food, water or rest along the way.”

Block said there were also important food safety concerns to consider, with horses and burros not raised as food animals routinely given drugs that are toxic to humans.

The European Union ultimately suspended horse-meat imports from Mexico – where 87 percent of horses slaughtered for export to the EU were of U.S. origin – and tightened regulations on Canadian horse-meat imports.

Block said the SAFE Act would end the slaughter of American equines completely by banning the transport of horses for slaughter across the border to Canada and Mexico and permanently prevent slaughter plants from opening in the US.

Lawmakers, she said, should be encouraged to bring the SAFE Act up for a fair vote, and to maintain the ban on domestic horse slaughter and transport for that purpose in the upcoming Agriculture Appropriations bill.

“America’s equines deserve better than to face the terror and cruelty of being loaded into trucks, transported long distances, held in kill pens and slaughtered for someone’s dinner plate overseas.”

Latest research and information from the horse world.

One thought on “Promoters of horse slaughter labeled greedy profiteers

  • May 31, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Horse slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia!

    With the captive-bolt, which was developed for use on cattle, stunning is ineffective over 40% of the time when applied to domestic, trained horses (the ones full of prohibited drugs and medications.) This is due to the fact that horses’ heads cannot be restrained as cattle are and accuracy is very difficult. Horses will routinely break their own necks if restrained. The captive-bolt is ineffective at stunning wild, untrained or under-trained horses nearly 100% of the time. Everyone who knows horses and has any experience at all with wild horses knows that it is near impossible to get anywhere near their poll which is a very vulnerable area to every horse. To get near a wild horse’s poll with a captive-bolt apparatus and have an accurate shot is technically, practically and virtually impossible. This is the reason why we find so much carcass evidence documentation of severe abuse to slaughtered horses. The captive-bolt process itself is so ineffective that many horses are shot multiple times or vivisected while conscious. This is a definite violation of the Humane Slaughter Act which mandates slaughtered animals to be rendered “senseless with one (1) shot.”


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